Weir's change of plans with Oak Heart

Trainer Darren Weir has made a change of plans and will run Oak Heart in Saturday’s 2500-metre handicap at Moonee Valley as a lead-up to the Banjo Paterson Series Final at Flemington.

Weir had been going to wait for Saturday week’s $150,000 event after Oak Heart won over 2400m at Sandown on June 19.
On that occasion he defeated subsequent Flemington 2000m winner Only He Knows and Rowland on a heavy (10) track.

“I just thought three weeks between runs might be a bit too much and he might do too well,” Weir said.

The El Moxie five-year-old has won two Saturday metropolitan races from seven runs this preparation, the other over 2000m at Flemington four starts back on May 8.

Last spring the gelding ran sixth to The Sportsman in the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) but Weir said he’d improved since and would target country Cups late in the spring carnival such as the Ballarat and Bendigo Cups.

Steven King, who had the winning ride last start, maintains the mount on Saturday.

Among his opposition will be Black And Bent who is chasing his seventh straight win ahead of backing up in the Banjo Paterson Series Final (2500m).

Glen Boss will ride the Robert Smerdon-trained four-year-old in both races.

Meanwhile, Mornington trainer Jason Warren has delayed the comeback of Coronation Diva who won’t resume in Saturday’s 1200m mares’ handicap.

The five-year-old daughter of Bianconi won five of her seven starts last preparation but hasn’t raced since scoring over 2040m at Moonee Valley on August 22 last year.

“She had a bone removed from a fetlock,” Warren explained.

“She’s in really good order, she’s already had one trial but I thought the 1200 metres was a bit short for her.”

Warren said Coronation Diva would trial over 1200m on the Geelong synthetic track on Monday ahead of resuming in the Cyril Beechey Hcp (1400m) at Sandown on July 14.

“That will be an easier progression,” the trainer said.